Medicos hack iPhone into lab 'scope
Peering into poop to spot worm eggs? There's an
app hack for that
Take an iPhone, a cheap camera lens, double-sided tape and lab slides and what do you get? In Tanzania, a device that helps diagnose intestinal worms.
While it may sound trivial, the medicos say that there are infections in around two billion people worldwide, mostly children, and they can cause malnutrition. It's easy to diagnose if you have a microscope, but lab-grade 'scopes come at $US200 a pop, which can be difficult to find in the developing world.
On the other hand, cellphones come with a carrier subsidy, and doctors are likely to be carrying them anyway. So the cobbled-together field microscope was used to examine stool samples on lab slides to identify the presence of parasite eggs such as those from hookworm.
The iPhone microscope. Credit: Isaac Bogoch, Toronto General Hospital
Testing the iPhone microscope against a conventional lab device, the researchers say they were able to make a correct diagnosis in 70 percent of cases – which, although lower than using a microscope, is way better than no microscope at all.
The research, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, also suggests that refinements such as a better lens could make the hack more sensitive. Toronto General Hospital infectious disease physician Isaac Bogoch says “We think cell phone microscopes could soon become a valuable diagnostic tool in poor, remote regions where intestinal worms are a serious health problem, particularly in children”. ®
Am I missing something?
When saying that poverty is an issue in not having the best equipment it seems a little strange to then develop a tool for the most expensive phone available...
Good on them
Nice to see improvisation leading to the ability to help so many people in the face of adversity. I'm sure this is not the only thing they, and others like them in other locations, are trying to improve people's lives around the world.
Exactly the same. But remember that Apple is God and Micro$oft(note the evil dollar sign) is the Devil. Only Apple cares for poor black children.
So that is the iPooed device done (yes there is a spade for your outdoors types already called that). I guess next on the block is the ipeed or even iwizz device for UTIs etc
Sigh. Whilst this is an excellent idea, what has that fact it was an iPhone got to do with anything? Nothing. If anything, it might put other people off trying this out as they can't afford the Apple premium.